McKinley, Mooney discuss upcoming campaign for 2nd district congressional seat

WTAP News @ 6
Published: Dec. 24, 2021 at 5:45 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 24, 2021 at 7:51 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - As we approach an election year, there will be one less congressional district in West Virginia.

When it approved a new district map in October-the result of 2020 Census figures showing a decline in population in the Mountain State-it put two incumbents in the second district. That means the area will be in a new second district.

The assignment of the congressional districts came just as the House of Representatives was voting on an infrastructure bill, that was severed from the more ambitious “Build Back Better” legislation.

Current First District Congressman David McKinley, a civil engineer, voted for it.

“Businesses are not going to locate here if they don’t have good roads and good water and broadband,” McKinley explained Monday, while defending the bill. “This is an advancement; I’m proud of what we’ve done.”

Current Second District Congressman Alex Mooney, voted against it.

“Five years ago, I voted for the transportation bill. It was paid for, and it what it was designed to be, which is roads and bridges.” Mooney said during a Zoom interview Thursday. “But a lot of this didn’t go to infrastructure; it went to other pet projects.”

The bill got some Republican votes in both houses while passing narrowly. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, also voted in favor.

McKinley says the first bill was not unlike proposals made unsuccessfully by then-presidents Obama and Trump.

The infrastructure bill is just part of a disagreement between the two congressmen over loyalty to the Republican party.

Mooney, who notes he has Donald Trump’s endorsement in next year’s election, takes aim at McKinley’s claim of bipartisanship.

“He votes with the Democrats a lot. I don’t call that independent,” Mooney said. “He’s enabling the Democratic agenda. You can call it what you want; he’s voting with (Democratic House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi. I’m going to fight for what I believe West Virginia values are: conservative and pro-freedom.”

McKinley, a former delegate and state party chairman, disputes a common claim that he’s a RINO: “Republican in name only”.

: “My voting record is 92%, voting with Donald Trump,” he says. “It’s significantly better than my opponent. You use those kinds of terms when you want to divert attention away, and I think that’s what’s happening here.”

McKinley is entering his 12th year in Congress. Mooney will begin his 8th year in January.

There are others planning to run for the seat as well. Republicans Carol Braun, Michael Sisco and Alexander Weinstein have also indicated they will be candidate for the new Second District seat in the May 10th primary.

The filing period for the 2022 primary begins January 10th, and ends at midnight January 29th.

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